Qatar continues to extend a helping hand to various calamity and Covid-19 pandemic-hit countries across the globe, including the Philippines. A large number of Filipino families benefitted from Qatar’s series of humanitarian aid, which comprised distributing tonnes of food and non-food products in recent years as part of its commitment to help friendly and brotherly countries.
In December 2020, the Qatar government, under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, sent medical aid to support victims of typhoon Vamco in the Philippines. The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and the Qatar Amiri Air Force joined forces to transport the needed help for the beneficiaries. Apart from 40 tonnes of food and non-food items, the aid also included camping equipment such as tents, rescue/inflatable boats, water, electricity generators, and sanitation, among others.
Qatar Charity (QC) and Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), have also been in the forefront of delivering and distributing relief goods. Such move aims to alleviate the suffering of Filipinos who were badly affected by different calamities that hit the Philippines, in addition to further boosting Qatar’s efforts in responding to emergencies.
In a press statement, Philippine Senator Richard Gordon, also chairman of PRC, thanked the Qatar government for its humanitarian aid, lauding the latter’s efforts to help the Philippines in overcoming various challenges. QRCS also held a series of relief interventions in recent years via its representation office in the Philippines, helping victims of typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Hagupit in 2014, a strong earthquake in Surigao region in 2017, typhoon Vinta in 2017, and typhoon Mangkut (category 5 tropical storm) in 2018.
In 2018, QRCS activated its Disaster Information Management Centre to monitor disasters, analyse field reports, and make a blueprint of the intervention plans in helping victims of calamities. Such move benefitted countries such as the Philippines, especially in gathering real-time information, organising aid process, and supporting the disaster information centre of PRC. QRCS’ mission in the Philippines, which was established in 2011, implemented several relief projects “to alleviate the suffering of disaster-stricken local communities.”
These include the building 1,550 houses for the victims of typhoon Washi in 2011, typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and the Surigao earthquake in 2017. The mission also helped provide relief aid for displaced households in Marawi in 2017 and the victims of typhoon Vinta in Mindanao in 2018. These QRCS operations, in collaboration with PRC, cost a total of $4.7mn.
In October 2017, QNA reported that QRCS’ mission in the Philippines initiated a housing rehabilitation project for the benefit of earthquake victims that struck Surigao in Mindanao. Pegged at $40,000, the project benefitted 117 poor families “whose houses were totally damaged” by the strong quake.
The poorest and most-affected families were the first to receive cash grants to buy needed materials and equipment to repair damaged houses. QRCS, in partnership with PRC, also conducted trainings on maintaining tools and building materials, as well as following safety standards.